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Blue State Coffee Interview
Questions

33 Questions and Answers by Ryan Brown

Question 1 of 33

At Blue State Coffee, we are looking for reliable employees who come to work on time. Do you have reliable transportation?

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Blue State Coffee Interview Questions

  1. 1.

    At Blue State Coffee, we are looking for reliable employees who come to work on time. Do you have reliable transportation?

      Even if you're not expected to drive for the job, you will need to have some form of reliable transportation. If you take the bus or ride a bike, that works too! Share that you have the means to get to work consistently and on time.

      Ryan's Answer #1

      "I have reliable transportation. My vehicle is well maintained, and I am comfortable with the amount of travel required to get to your office every day."

      Ryan's Answer #2

      "I take public transit; however, I find it to be very reliable. I was late to work only once last year, and that was due to a snowstorm which stalled all of our employee's commute - including those with personal vehicles. Rest assured, I am reliable and will always come to work on time."

  2. 2.

    At Blue State Coffee, we believe that everyone has leadership capabilities. Do you see yourself a leader? When have you led a team?

      Perhaps you have led a club at work, been a coach for a youth sports team, or were on the advisory board for a non-profit organization. You should always be prepared to show the interviewer that you have a natural ability to lead others. Whether you have led a group of 500 or a team of 2, you must display to the interviewer that you are capable of handling the responsibility that comes with being a leader and mentor.

      Talk about your desire to be a leader. Share with the interviewer that you strive to be a role model for others. Explain that you jump at the opportunity to lead groups, encourage your counterparts, and be a face of the organization when challenges arise.

      Ryan's Answer #1

      "In my current position, I am the president of the social committee. I love that I have the opportunity to encourage employee engagement while being a positive influence on the workplace culture. I am a natural leader because I start with leading by example. As a leader, I make myself available to others who need mentor-ship, a bit of assistance in adjusting to their role, or just a listening ear when they've had a tough day. I am confident in my leadership abilities and look forward to joining your team in a leadership role."

      Ryan's Answer #2

      "I see myself as a leader. Not only have I managed a team in two prior roles, but also I believe that leadership does not always equate to management. I am sure to lead at all times by providing the best model, enthusiasm, and work-ethic of the organization. I am open to new ideas and love to tackle a new project which, to me, embodies leadership."

  3. 3.

    Outside of work, what type of creative activities do you like to pursue?

      A genuinely creative minded person will have outside activities aside from what's happening in the workplace. Tell the interviewer about the variety of ways in which you express your creativity.

      Ryan's Answer #1

      "Outside of work I like to attend dance classes and I also attend the odd paint and sip wine nights at a local wine shop. I also enjoy reading as a way of nurturing my creative side."

      Ryan's Answer #2

      "Outside of work I love to explore my creative side. I practice photography for fun and also hang out with friends. As an avid reader, I try to read one new book per week. I also explore writing."

  4. 4.

    Rate your communication skills from 1-10 with proper examples backing your given rating.

      On a scale of 1-10, how skilled are you in communication? Why did you choose that particular rating for yourself?

      Ryan's Answer #1

      "I rate my communication skills as a 9/10 as I will, on occasion, have times when I am not as clear as I would like to be. My supervisor and co-workers will attest to my clear and concise communication skills. Because I am an open leader, my team will let me know if I need to clarify anything."

      Ryan's Answer #2

      "I will rate myself an 8.5 because I consider myself a strong communicator. It is the foundation of all success in business. I am always striving to be a better communicator, so I leave the rest of the scale as an aspirational measure."

  5. 5.

    As you know, we have a lot of competitors in this industry. Why do you want to work for Blue State Coffee?

      Researching the company is an essential step before your interview. Part of that research is going to include learning who the competitors are, and why Blue State Coffee stands apart from the rest. Keep your answer to the point, and positive.

      Ryan's Answer #1

      "The culture at Blue State Coffee is very desirable. You have a reputation for investing in your staff through continued education and incentives which seems to keep your employees engaged. I am also very impressed with the online reviews that I have read. You have a great reputation!"

      Ryan's Answer #2

      "I want to work for Blue State Coffee because I have been a patron for many years. I have always been a loyal customer because of the high-quality food and beverages, as well as the friendly atmosphere."

  6. 6.

    Give me an example of a time when you went above and beyond.

      Display to the interviewer that you can do more than the bare minimum. Show that you can react when you see that your employer has a need that goes beyond your usual day-to-day expectations.

      Ryan's Answer #1

      "Last week I noticed that my manager had not completed the schedule for the following week. Some of the staff were complaining that they didn't have their work schedule yet. Rather than going to my manager with the complaint, I offered to take on some of her workload so that she would have the time to complete the schedule. We worked together for a couple of overtime hours that day and were able to catch her up on everything. It felt good to help but also benefited me by way of organization."

      Ryan's Answer #2

      "I often go above and beyond what is expected of me. Most recently, I agreed to cover for a co-worker who was on short-term medical leave. I worked 10 hour days for two weeks so that our shop did not suffer any setbacks."

  7. 7.

    Are you familiar with the types of products that we serve at Blue State Coffee?

      It is critical that you research Blue State Coffee before your interview. Take note of their most popular products and any new, or seasonal, products that may have been released recently.

      Ryan's Answer #1

      "From what I understand you have all of the basics including light, medium and full-bodied coffee's. Your specialty at Blue State Coffee appears to be on hot and cold creations such as coffee and tea-based latte's. I am eager to try your new cold brew coffee this summer!"

      Ryan's Answer #2

      "I am familiar with your products! I am a dedicated customer and already know a good portion of the menu at Blue State Coffee. I am very excited to work here!"

  8. 8.

    At Blue State Coffee we offer many corporate growth opportunities to our star employees. Where do you see your career with Blue State Coffee taking you?

      The coffee industry is booming, competitive, and it isn't going anywhere! Talk to the interviewer about how you see your career growth in this industry. Onboarding new employees is a time-consuming and expensive task. Be sure to express your genuine interest in working for Blue State Coffee for the longer term!

      Ryan's Answer #1

      "When I was on your website the other day I noticed that you offer store level and corporate level opportunities. I poked around a bit and thought that it would be cool to end up in a human resources type of opportunity down the road. I think your culture at Blue State Coffee is great and I would love to grow a strong career here."

      Ryan's Answer #2

      "This position is perfect for my schedule as I attend University for the next four years. Past my University graduation, I am not sure where I will end up; however, I would love to dedicate these next few years to Blue State Coffee."

  9. 9.

    What characteristics do you feel a good barista will have?

      Display to the interviewer that you have what it takes to be a great barista! First, you should fully understand the requirements to be a barista. You can research the career path as well as refer to the Blue State Coffee website and job description. Keep your answer to the point, and positive.

      Ryan's Answer #1

      "I see in your job description that you are seeking someone who can multitask, be friendly, and is reliable. In addition to these requirements, I feel that a good barista will be willing to learn new beverages, work well as part of a team, and provide top notch customer service. I do not know everything about specialty drinks but from what I understand - you provide excellent training at Blue State Coffee."

      Ryan's Answer #2

      "Here are some other skills a barista should have:

      - Outgoing personality
      - Ability to do basic math at a quick pace
      - Active listening skills for order taking
      - Strong customer service skills
      - The desire to be around groups of people all day
      - Memorization and strong recall abilities
      - Ability to work well with a team of varying personalities
      - Interest in the coffee shop culture
      - Interest in hygiene
      - Investment in health and safety protocols
      - Patience
      - Dispute resolution skills"

  10. 10.

    Walk me through your industry related experience. Which role was your favorite, and why did you leave?

      This question is a loaded one because the interviewer is trying to understand the attitude you bring with you to work and why you would choose to leave a position that makes you happy. Take a few minutes to walk the interviewer through your resume.

      Ryan's Answer #1

      "I have worked in the customer service / restaurant industry for the past 3 years. My favorite role was with Company ABC because the culture was friendly and collaborative. I only left because I relocated to a different city. I am excited about the opportunity with Blue State Coffee because the culture feels similar. I see a strong fit here."

      Ryan's Answer #2

      "My favorite role was with Company XYZ and; although I enjoyed it, the time came for me to seek a position with a higher wage, and potential to become the manager. There was minimal growth opportunity there, so I chose to move forward in my career. We parted on great terms and the owner is still an employment reference of mine."

  11. 11.

    Have you ever come to Blue State Coffee as a customer? Tell me about your experience.

      The interviewer is genuinely interested in your experience as a customer. If you have been a customer at Blue State Coffee, speak openly and positively about your experience. If your experience was not a positive one be sure to handle that tactfully and with substantial discretion. It is important to note that you should always be a patron before applying/interviewing. 'I have never come here' will never be an acceptable answer.

      Ryan's Answer #1

      "I am a regular customer at Blue State Coffee because your location is convenient, your customer service is always friendly, and your product is consistently fresh."

      Ryan's Answer #2

      "I have not frequented this location often; however, the times that I have come here, I always leave impressed and well taken care of."

  12. 12.

    At Blue State Coffee we receive many applications on a daily basis. Why should we hire you?

      When answering this question, you always want to refer to what you can do for Blue State Coffee. This question is not about you and your needs/desires. What unique skills do you bring to the organization that other applicants may not?

      Ryan's Answer #1

      "I understand that you receive many applications every day. I am a stand-out candidate because I have an impressive customer service record. Because I am well versed in the coffee industry, the time required to train me will be minimal. I am dedicated, come with strong references, and can start immediately."

      Ryan's Answer #2

      "I am a stand out candidate because I offer an attitude that fits well with the customer-focused attitude at Blue State Coffee. Also, I am bilingual and able to help your customers in English and Spanish fluently."

  13. 13.

    From your understanding of our job posting, what do you feel your primary duties will be with Blue State Coffee?

      The interviewer would like to know that you fully understand the duties associated with this position. Have you read and absorbed the job description? Do you have a clear understanding of the tasks outlined by the hiring manager during the interview? Assure the interviewer that you will exceed their expectations.

      Ryan's Answer #1

      "I understand that Blue State Coffee puts their primary focus on personal customer service and quality products. From what I have researched, the primary duties of this role will be to represent Blue State Coffee proudly through excellent service. This responsibility includes preparing beverages correctly the first time, ensuring that cleanliness is kept in the shop and keeping inventory levels accurate."

      Ryan's Answer #2

      "I have read through the job posting in details and feel that my primary duties will be to prepare beverages, greet the customers, and handle transactions accurately. Are there other expectations, in this role not outlined in the job posting?"

  14. 14.

    At Blue State Coffee we want to be the best in the coffee industry. Where do you think we could improve?

      The coffee industry is a competitive one, and the interviewer would like to know that you have put some thought into where Blue State Coffee stands in comparison to their competitors. Perhaps you have a minor suggestion for improvement? It is excellent, to be honest; however, be sure to keep your answer light and end on a positive note.

      Ryan's Answer #1

      "I am a coffee addict and have visited Blue State Coffee many times! Your shop is truly one of my favorites. The only suggestion I would make is to increase your stock of breakfast pastries. Many times I will arrive around 10 AM, and you are sold out. It simply means that your product is great and sells out!"

      Ryan's Answer #2

      "I have seen a few local coffee shops use an app where customers can place their order ahead of time, even paying and tipping on the app, to avoid having to wait in line. I think it's a great idea for anyone in a hurry to get to work, or for someone with a large order. Something like that could be cool for Blue State Coffee to create at some point."

  15. 15.

    At Blue State Coffee we have very high standards when it comes to food safety. Have you ever taken any food safety or hygiene related courses?

      Talk to the interviewer about any related training that you may have had, whether it be a formal or on-the-job experience. If your training is listed on your resume, take the time to re-review it briefly. Assure the interviewer that you have an interest in helping them to uphold the high standards at Blue State Coffee.

      Ryan's Answer #1

      "In my previous role, I was trained on-the-job in regards to food health and safety. I was tested regularly as well. A few years ago I also completed my Food Safety Training Certificate from our local community college. I fully understand the importance of food safety and will uphold the strong standards at Blue State Coffee, if hired."

      Ryan's Answer #2

      "This would be my first position within the restaurant industry so at this time I am not trained or certified in food safety. If you could provide me with some recommended courses, I would be happy to get a head start on my training!"

  16. 16.

    Thank you for spending your time interviewing with Blue State Coffee. I realize I have asked you a lot of questions. Do you have any questions for me?

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  17. 17.

    At Blue State Coffee we have had previous concerns with employee theft. How would you handle it if you caught an employee stealing?

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  18. 18.

    If a customer complained that you gave them incorrect change, what would you do?

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  19. 19.

    At Blue State Coffee we are open 7 days a week. We may schedule you for early mornings, evenings, weekends, and holidays. Are you able to offer flexibility in your schedule, or do you have restrictions?

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  20. 20.

    When have you been asked to perform a function or complete a task in which you had little or no experience in doing?

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  21. 21.

    Where do you see yourself a year from now?

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  22. 22.

    How does this position with Blue State Coffee fit into your career goals?

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  23. 23.

    Describe your leadership qualities.

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  24. 24.

    How would you describe your personality?

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  25. 25.

    Days can sometimes be stressful at Blue State Coffee. How do you handle stress on the job?

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  26. 26.

    How many days were you absent from work last year?

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  27. 27.

    List the top 3 skills that you have acquired in your last role, that will help you in this position with Blue State Coffee.

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  28. 28.

    On a scale from 1 to 10, how honest are you?

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  29. 29.

    What causes you to feel dissatisfied on the job?

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  30. 30.

    Have you ever had to fire an employee? What were the reasons for their termination?

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  31. 31.

    What are your salary expectations?

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  32. 32.

    How would your favorite teacher or professor describe you?

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  33. 33.

    At Blue State Coffee, we value accuracy and a job well done. Do you always double check or proofread your work?

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